Five Things to Know when Adding a Blog to an Exisiting Website

by Joe on January 28, 2009

fiveThe other day I was chatting with a friend who has a website and he wanted to add live and archived video to his site.  Problem is, his site is html only. Sure it looks amazing and has a super layout and graphics, but it takes too long to create new html pages to put any focus on the written content or the videos. 

The 80/20 rule applies for websites too.  Especially ones who have potential to share a truck load of content.  We should be spending 80 percent of our time getting content out the door, and 20% on technical implementation.  Content on websites helps you connect with your audience and engage them in conversation as well as keep them informed.

So what did I suggest to my friend?  I told him to keep the existing website for now and cross-integrate the old content with the new using a content management system, which just so happens to be what I use; a free blogging software called WordPress.  But I didn’t want to send him on his way without a few tips, so here they are for all you!

1. Consider using the blog to replace the site

Is your current site have so much content it is just too much to change? If yes, just add the blog on, if no, seriously consider using a blogging platform to manage your content.  Lots of people are using wordpress as a content management system for their entire site. 

2. Enable your colleagues to create content

WordPress lets you have many different logins. Don’t waste them!  Give your boss and your coworkers a log in so they can help write posts!  Make sure they understand how it works, and use the permissions to let them write, but not publish, so as the administrator you can control where the content goes!

3. Think of the site as the communications platform

If your organization is currently making fliers and PDFs for delivery via attachments on emails you are behind the times!  Use that content to create blog posts and then an email news letter linking to the content you have been creating.  Snail mail is good for PDFs, email is not.  Technologies like RSS and content management systems make a great starting point for newsletters and communicating with constituents.

4. Start off with some solid content before going live

Problogger tells us we should have at least five posts created before we launch a blog.  It takes some work setting up a blog so don’t let all that pain be for no gain.  Many folks are just interested in starting a blog just because, make sure you have a purpose behind it. 

5. Put the word out – Let them know its there!

I am sure you put a ton of time into getting your blog set up and ready to go, so don’t let it sit in the background!  Put a link on your sites homepage, nay a link, a HUGE button!  Also, let folks know in real life. Put it on your business cards, your email signature, everywhere your website is, hustle your blog!  Let your customers know that they can interact with you!

With five tips you can only get so far.  What would you have suggested to my friend?  What have you suggested before?

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